The Deer Run Drifters
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The Deer Run Drifters

Floyd, Virginia, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | SELF

Floyd, Virginia, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2012
Band Americana Folk


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Five Flying Under the Radar"

After a little tuning, a slow, almost funereal march leads you into the Deer Run Drifters album Appalachian Blues. The opening tune is a confession mountain style and though the band is not bragging, damn if they don’t perk up when they get to the hook and shout out “Sober No More”. Deer Run Drifters are a string band, using the traditions of bluegrass as a spring board for the way they hear their music. The band is still marching but the footfalls are more deliberate when they confess a little more about the need to get high….looking for a little “Bump” of love while on the title track they are set with cocaine and moonshine, needing nothing but night to fall. - The Alternate Root

"The Deer Run Drifters - Appalachian Blues"

"Hailing from Floyd, a small mountain town in the Appalachians of Southwest Virginia, the music this talented quintet plays will come as no surprise. It is acoustic music that I was tempted to refer to as ‘old timey’ but that would be too restrictive a description. Certainly there is a strong thread of rural old timey running through this excellent album but this music, whilst it could easily have had relevance in the 1920s is perhaps even more so now. As a number of young bands have successfully done recently, they have taken a traditional genre and rather than trying to copy that, have added their own individual stamp and updated the tradition. I’ve seen them compared to bands such as the Old Crow Medicine Show, Hackensaw Boys and Avett Brothers amongst others and whilst I can see why these comparisons were made the Deer Run Drifters sound feels more sparse and with more of a ‘hillbilly’ feel than any of the aforementioned and in most ways there is a strong individuality that will stand them in good stead.

I must confess, for those that don’t already know, that if an album includes a well played banjo, mandolin, fiddle, etc. it is half way to impressing me and so it is with this terrific recording. Fairly obviously, to go the whole hog and be totally impressive requires considerably more, something this album achieves with ease. Chris Links’ vocals are strong and really have an Appalachian feel as well as accent, giving the songs a powerful grittiness and when you add the equally important and skilled contributions of the rest of the band it’s impossible to see failure as an option!

Unusually, this band consists of two sets of brothers and a friend! The brothers are Chris Link, who wrote most of the songs, handles lead vocals and acoustic guitar, his brother Joe on back up vocals and mandolin, Sean Edgell also on back up vocals, harmonica and acoustic guitar and his brother Shane on banjo and writer of the title track Appalachian Blues with finally Will Norton laying the foundation with the solidity of his bass playing. That foundation in many ways runs parallel with a building construction in that you don’t really notice it unless you make a deliberate effort but when you do the realization dawns that without that solidity much of the power and emotional content wouldn’t have the platform to take off from and would consequently be diminished. Ultimately a band that has a single lead vocalist and main songwriter but are very much a group of musicians of whom it would be true in many ways to say that ‘the whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts.’

The songs are all beautifully written, with some having a powerful poeticism and the arrangements and excellent musicianship never gets in the way of the often sad stories. Blackberry Wine starts with a solemn fiddle which adds a nice counterpoint to the chirpy banjo on the tale of someone who is coming to terms with the fact that he has lost his love to another, but there is always solace in the ‘Blackberry wine.’ In the case of Mama Oh Mama, a nice chiming acoustic guitar is soon joined by harmonica and banjo on the dramatic tale of a lawbreaker who finally apologises for what he has done to his family. There is a powerful haunting sense of realism to the song thanks to the instrumentation and Chris Links atmospheric vocal that evokes someone who has come to terms with and accepted his fate. Lowlife is in many ways a tale of torment on the story of someone who is in love with a girl but can’t change his ways, although perhaps he’s prepared to try, despite giving the listener the impression that it is unlikely. The excellent acoustic guitar, mandolin and banjo provide excellent support and atmosphere without ever dominating the song. Saving Grace has a nice roaming fiddle in the back ground on a song that has a philosophical edge of sadness running through it and an enhanced sense of drama thanks to the sparse but emotive instrumentation and particularly the world weary lead vocal. Finally, the title track, Appalachian Blues is a song that really is an evocation of the title with it’s high lonesome sound and theme with banjo to the fore on a hugely atmospheric song.

‘Atmosphere’ is a much used word in the above review but for a very good reason. There are likely to be very few albums released this year on which the tales are enhanced by a believable atmosphere that really does at times tug at the emotions, with there often being a desperation in Chris Links lyrics and vocals that few can match. Ultimately this is a debut album whose quality almost beggars belief, such is the power and commitment of this talented quintet for whom a successful future should be theirs for the taking!" - American Roots UK - Mike Morrison

"The Deer Run Drifters - Appalachian Blues"

"Hailing from Floyd, Virginia, The Deer Run Drifters who formed in 2012 starting picking up gigs at places like rodeos, nightclubs and festivals. They recently released their debut album entitled Appalachian Blues, which explores and infuses genres such as country, Americana and bluegrass. There is a timeless almost organic quality to the songs that you don’t find in most modern country songs. The songs sound like something you might hear from a young group of musicians playing around a campfire by their wooden cabin. You won’t find distorted guitars or over compressed drums on this album, what you will find is warm strings that come from acoustic guitars, banjos, violins and more. The lead singer’s voice only adds to the rustic vintage vibe that these instruments create. He sings in a high pitch twang highly conducive to a country song.

The album starts with an upbeat song with a rather depressing title called “Sober No More.” It’s a very catchy tune and felt like it good be a sing-a-long drinking song even though he was singing about how he “could not face the world sober no more.” Next up is “Blackberry Wine,” which weaves together banjo, fiddle, bass and acoustic to create a bed of warmth for the vocalist to sing over. The string work is excellent and proves they don’t need a drummer to bring energy to their songs.

“Mama Oh Mama” introduces a bit more melancholy as well as some welcome harmonica while “The Diner Song” talks about his invitation to a waitress to leave it all behind and join him on a journey. Be careful while listening to “Lowlife” because you may shed a tear upon hearing the melody and lyrics.

They close with arguably the best song on the album called “Appalachian Blues,” which brings together the strengths of the band.

This is an album that at its heart relies on well-written songs that feel as pure as the hills they came from." - Equal Ground - Jamie Funk

"The Deer Run Drifters New Album Review - Appalachian Blues"

“The Deer Run Drifters new album, Appalachian Blues, can best be described as INCREDIBLE! The 10 tracks are so enjoyable to the ears that you may find yourself having a hard time turning them off. With roots firmly planted in a small mountain town life, The Deer Run Drifters have a fresh style and an unforgettable take on mountain music. Blending blues, old time, bluegrass and pure Americana string band sounds have garnered the band a nice spring tour that comes to a close at Floyd Fest, one of the top bluegrass style festivals in the country.
The tracks plays easily cover-to-cover but tunes like Burn, The Diner Song, Bump, and the namesake Appalachian Blues will honestly have you singing their respective melodies in the shower. I started up the CD for the first time and began painting and before long the tunes had repeated several times.
Great lyrics, and fine musicianship will surely keep the Deer Run Drifters busy for the foreseeable future. For more information about where you can see them and how you can get a hold of their music head on over to and you can find their music on Itunes and Amazon. Rage safely my friends!” - The Appalachian Jamwich Magazine - Cliff Tyler


Still working on that hot first release.



What do you get when you take two sets of brothers, the broken remnants of an unheard Alt-Country band, and the skills of a veteran bassist? Is it countless cases of beer? Maybe it’s endless amounts of broken guitar strings, or perhaps more simply, it’s those late night practices in an empty wood shed knowing you have to drag your ass into work the next morning. Well, it’s all of those things. More importantly, it’s the perfect combination of those things. It's none other than a genuine love for music that has forged The Deer Run Drifters. With one half of the band influenced by the sounds and lyrics of Alt-Country, and the other half deeply rooted in a more modern folk, The Deer Run Drifters have quickly carved themselves out a perfect spot in Americana music.


Nearly four years ago after their recent musical venture had fallen through, Chris Link and Shane Edgell were left busking on the streets of Floyd, Virginia. The two had nothing more than a guitar and a banjo, a few old-time covers and a handful of originals penned by Link. All it took was a few passers-by to stop and lend an ear and the rest is history. From that day forward, what is now known as The Deer Run Drifters started taking form. The band is composed of Chris Link (guitar, vocals), Joe Link (mandolin), Shane Edgell (banjo), Sean Edgell (guitar, harmonica), and Will Norton (Bass). In May of 2012 on a goose-neck trailer stage, The Deer Run Drifters made their debut In Willis, Virginia, for the first ever Talford Rodeo. Fast forward to 2015, the band has over 200 shows beneath its belt, has traveled up and down the East Coast, has been in every dive bar Virginia has to offer and has successfully released their debut album, Appalachian Blues.

Appalachian Blues has gained the band local acclaim for its collection of sad stories and rootsy instrumentals. Link utilizes weathered and often heartbreaking lyrics fused with his "high and lonesome" twang to draw listeners in. There's desperation in his voice that's both alluring and bleeds honesty. However, it’s the clever arrangements and focus on dynamics that brings this band to life. They have a knack for showcasing the lyrics of each song and reinforcing them with the music. It’s not uncommon to hear an eerie 4-string banjo roll over top of a wailing harmonica or over driven Mandolin within the mix, only to be tied perfectly together by Norton's foot tapping bass lines.

The band has found itself gearing up for the release of its second full-length album, Restless Youth. With the new addition of percussion and a rockin' electric guitar, the record is the first step in a new direction for the band. "We wanted to stay true to our roots as we did with our first album," said Link. "But, at the same time we wanted to intertwine some of the music we've grown up on. The new record, all the way down to the writing process, has been much more of a collaboration among all of us. I think this collection of songs has captured who we are perfectly."

Restless Youth continues what the band is known for: themes of life, heartbreak, and of course drunken mishaps. With the band’s new sound in place, it creates something that represents their intent perfectly. The Deer Run Drifters are here, and ready to take 2015 by storm.

Band Members